There was silence in the cramped kitchen of the Burrow, but for the maddening ticking of the clock and Kingsly awkwardly shuffling the pieces of parchment in front of him.
“Now we move onto the Last Will and Testaments of Nymphadora and Remus Lupin,” he said, placing the details of Fred’s funeral arrangements to the side, with a look of deepest sadness. The list was very long, and almost everyone in the room got something from either Tonks or Remus, until, finally…
“Lastly, it is our wish for our son, Ted Remus Lupin, to be placed in the care of his grandmother, Andromeda Tonks, but to have as much access as possible to his Godfather, Harry James Potter.” Harry nodded, and did not say anything for a few moments. He had known this was coming, but all the same…
“Harry,” said Andromeda softly, her dark eyes filled with tears, her voice more high-pitched than normal, “I fully intend for you to be around as much as possible. While growing up, I suggest that Teddy stay with you every other weekend, and other days according to you schedules. When he gets older — perhaps when he is fourteen or so, he can decide whose house he would like to stay in when it suits him. But, for now, I think there should be a definite… timetable of sorts for him. I hope that I can become his surrogate mother, and that you become a father figure to him.” Harry could tell that she had put a lot of thought into this, and had practised how to say it.
“Where is Teddy?” Harry asked quietly, after a long pause.
“He’s upstairs asleep, dear. In Ginny’s room,” said Mrs Weasley, smiling kindly, although tear streaks marked her face. Harry nodded, and rose from his chair. Knowing full well that every eye in the room was watching him, Harry walked out of the kitchen and up the stairs, almost as if he were in a daze.
He opened the door as slowly as possible, trying to minimise the noise of the creak for fear of waking the sleeping child. In the centre of the room, was the cot that Tonks had brought in preparation for the birth of her son. Harry quietly approached and looked at the tiny baby sleeping inside. Even though he was just a few weeks old, Ted must have sensed that something was wrong, for his vivid mop of blue hair that Harry had seen in the photograph just a week ago, was now a mousy brown. Harry bitterly remembered Tonks doing the same thing last year.
Harry gently stroked the baby’s hair with his knuckles, watching Ted’s chest rise and fall in his deep slumber.
“Harry?” whispered a voice. Harry whipped around — he was still a little paranoid and jumpy from the war. He saw Ginny standing in the doorway, a concerned and consoling look on her face.
“Is he still asleep?” she whispered again, moving forward as Harry turned back to Teddy.
“Yeah.” There was a short pause. “I don’t feel ready for this. I mean… I’m partly responsible for a baby and I’m only seventeen.”
“I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful surrogate father to him,” said Ginny, taking his hand in hers.
“But… I don’t know how… to do it.”
“To do what?” Harry was glad the light was low in the room as he went red.
“To be a father. I… I don’t remember my dad… and the Dursley’s were never much of an example… and on top of that, I don’t know a thing about babies.”
“I’ll help you. We all will.”
“But… I need to complete my seventh year, and after that, I’ll have to get a place of my own. Move out of the Burrow.” Ginny gently cupped her hand underneath his chin and pulled his face round, looking him in the eye.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t help. Besides, you only have to worry about it every other weekend… you’ll pick it up anyway… and… when I leave Hogwarts… I’ll be around to help you all the time.”
“You will?” Harry asked, his eyes lighting up in excitement.
“Course I will — I’m you girlfriend, aren’t I?” He smiled and kissed her. They hugged for a few minutes, Harry’s head resting on hers, Ginny’s head on Harry’s chest.
“He’s an orphan now, just like me,” Harry said, closing his eyes, “but I’ll make sure he has a better life than I did.”
“I’m sure you will. Remus knew that too.”
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